Merc EQ Sil­ver Arrow

Mercedes muses what its Thir­ties rac­ing stream­liner could spawn with F1 ma­te­ri­als, elec­tric drive and on-board ghost buster...

Top Gear (UK) - - CONTENTS - OL­LIE KEW

Read­ing this mag­a­zine from front to back, are you? Good. You’ll have al­ready spot­ted this year’s Pebble Beach car-luxe-fes­ti­val has lit the touch­pa­per on a series of all-elec­tric su­percon­cepts from Audi, In­finiti and Pin­in­fa­rina. Un­bowed, Mercedes has been busy with its own en­try. The EQ Sil­ver Arrow plun­ders real her­itage (not In­finiti’s wish-we-were-there wist­ful­ness) and ap­plies an elec­tri­fied spin to the record­break­ing Benz sin­gle-seaters of the Thir­ties. Imag­ine, if you will, this de­sign study as a fan­tasy fu­ture for For­mula E. Oof. Yes please.

Now dis­miss that mouth-wa­ter­ing no­tion. Sorry. This is merely the de­sign depart­ment get­ting de­mob-happy over the sum­mer hol­i­days, but it does in­clude some de­sign traits we’ll see in the up­com­ing Tesla-fight­ing EQ elec­tric off­shoot im­mi­nent from the Mercedes moth­er­ship. Blue de­tail­ing, wrap­around lights and rose-gold wheel spokes, for ex­am­ple. Just don’t ex­pect said wheels to be these 26-inch, 168-spoke mon­sters.

Driv­ing them is a 750bhp pow­er­train juiced by an 80kWh bat­tery good for a 248-mile range, but un­like Audi’s Pebble Beach lime­light thief, the EQ Sil­ver Arrow is light on propul­sion de­tails. Mercedes isn’t wor­ried with quot­ing 0–62mph times or top-speed cal­cu­la­tions. In­stead, it’s bus­ied it­self with solv­ing the awk­ward is­sue of elec­tric rac­ing cars not mak­ing enough noise.

Delve into the steer­ing-wheel-mounted touch­screen and first, choose be­tween Com­fort, Sport and Sport+ modes – yep, this is a 750bhp stream­liner with a Com­fort set­ting. Then de­cide on a sound out­put to be piped from the car’s on-board juke­box. Choices in­clude the turbo V6 whoosh of the Lewis Hamil­ton’s cur­rent F1 W09 EQ Power+ (erm, no thanks) or the ca­cophonous rum­ble of Mercedes-AMG’s thun­der­ing 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8. That’s bet­ter.

This fu­ture-tech-meets-old-fash­ioned-larkingabout vein runs deep through the fully car­bon­fi­bre EQ Sil­ver Arrow (its slip­pery hue is a multi-layer sil­ver paint evok­ing the pol­ished metal bod­ies of pre-WWII rac­ers). Take the dig­i­tal cock­pit as an ex­am­ple. Vir­tual rac­ing lines and even a ‘ghost’ op­po­nent car are over­laid onto the front aero screen, like the early, crashy for­ays through Gran Turismo or Forza. A built-in Vir­tual Race Coach re­lays tips for scor­ing faster lap times

as you speed along, too. Didn’t Need for Speed of­fer a sim­i­lar func­tion?

If you’re un­in­ter­ested in eS­ports, per­haps an­tiques are more your thing. Good, be­cause Mercedes has out­fit­ted the cock­pit of the EQ Sil­ver Arrow like a land-speed record-breaking draw­ing room. There’s sad­dle brown leather up­hol­stery, alu­minium fit­tings and solid wal­nut trim. Not even Lewis gets wal­nut in his whip.

Nor does Mr Ham­mer­time’s week­end ride of­fer cen­tral heat­ing. Two-nil to the re­born Sil­ver Arrow, then, which fea­tures Mercedes’ patented Airscarf gad­get, which has been waft­ing sooth­ing warm gusts from head­rest vents onto the napes of chilly SLK and SL driv­ers for yonks. Jokes about rac­ing driv­ers al­ready spew­ing enough hot air on a post­card, please.

Flared whee­larches? Where we’re go­ing we’ll def­i­nitely need flared whee­larches. And a tail­fin

Longer than an S-Class. Big­ger wheels than a G-Class. Zero park­ing sen­sors. Gulp Spot S t the th Merc M W125 re­sem­blance? Ru­dolph Carac­ci­ola’s 1937 road speed record of 268.9mph wasn’t beaten un­til 2017, by Koenigsegg

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